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J&K government allows Muharram procession in Srinagar after 3 decades; Shia Muslims split over decision

Jammu and Kashmir government lifts ban on Muharram procession after 3 decades. However, Shia Muslims are split over the decision.

JK government allows Muharram procession in Srinagar after 3 decades; Shia Muslims split over decision-dnm
Bengaluru, First Published Aug 2, 2021, 4:53 PM IST

The Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to allow symbolic Muharram procession in the Lal Chowk area in Srinagar after a gap of three decades.

All Jammu and Kashmir Shia Association has claimed the administration has decided to allow the procession after 30 years and has welcomed the move, but prominent Shia leader and former minister Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi said the decision raises more questions than it answers.

An order was issued after a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Pandurang K Pole.

“It was decided that Muharram-ul-Haram 1443 (Hijri), shall be celebrated (sic) as per the past practice; however, in view of the Covid, the guidelines shall be adhered in letter and spirit”, the order reads.

“All the necessary arrangements shall be put in place for the convenience of the people and the decision of the commemoration of Muharram shall be left up to the Shia organisations for which all the Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police shall be in touch with them”, it further said.

President, All Jammu and Kashmir Shia Association, Imran Reza Ansari said they welcome the decision to allow Muharram procession in Kashmir after a gap of three decades.

"InshAllah (God willing) AJK Shia Association will lead the procession this year as per past practice," he wrote on Twitter.

The dates on which the procession has been allowed, include two major processions of 8th and 10th of Muharram. Both these processions were banned in the early nineties with the onset of terrorism in Kashmir.

Before the eruption of terrorism in Kashmir Valley, the traditional Muharram procession used to pass through many areas of the city, including from Lal Chowk to Dalgate area, but the same has been banned since 1990.

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